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Super Rugby Jerseys Online

January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

sharksThe stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break and the initial rush and will be shipped as they become available. The Lions will launch ed their Super Rugby jersey on 22 January while the Cheetahs haven’t indicated when they will launch.

Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys – R599

Bulls 2014 Super Rugby Jerseys – R649

Lions 2014 Super Rugby Jerseys – R649

Stormers 2014 Super Rugby Jerseys – R699

 New online rugby shops:

Bulls Stampede Rugby Shop

Sharks Shiver Rugby Shop


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Super Rugby 2014 SA Conference Preview

January 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

We’re into the final month of Super Rugby pre-season preparations and the team squads are slowly taking shape although no team has announced its final squad yet and the teams still have to play their warm up matches.

When one look at the provisional squad lists and taking what one know about the teams it is possible to do a provisional preview of the season. However, we know that pre-season previews tend to be fairly useless as injuries and form take a hand in during the season but it still is fun.


On paper the Sharks have the best squad, loaded with Springboks and experience and with only a few rookies looking likely to get much game time. The one position where the Sharks might be vulnerable is at lock where, apart from PSDT they don’t have any locks of real quality.

The internal battle for the flyhalf spot between Pat Lambie and Fred Zeilinga will be interesting to watch. Zeilinga was impressive during the Currie Cup while Lambie had a largely forgetable year last year.

Overall they have a solid and experienced forward pack but the depth at the back looks a bit brittle. However, they have enough talent available to finish top of the SA Conference in 2014.

Players to watch: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Frederik Zeilinga, Heimar Williams, SP Marais

Predicted Positions:
SA Conference: 1
Overall: 3

Prop: Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Lourens Adriaanse, Dale Chadwick,
Hooker: Kyle Cooper, Bismarck du Plessis,
Lock: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Peet Marais, Etienne Oosthuizen, Edwin Hewitt, Anton Bressler
Loose forward: Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski, Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel, Tera Mtembu
Scrumhalf: Charl McLeod, Cobus Reinach, Tyler Fisher,
Flyhalf: Pat Lambie, Frederik Zeilinga
Centre: Frans Steyn, Heimar Williams,
Utility back: Paul Jordaan, Tim Swiel, Jaco van Tonder, Adriaan Esterhuizen,
Wing: Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, JP Pietersen,
Fullback: SP Marais

Head coach: Jake White


After a good 2013 Super Rugby season but a poor Currie Cup for both partners, the Free State and Griquas, the Cheetahs will be able to field a settled and experienced squad of players. Once again their lock/loosies open play will be crucial to their campaign and to provide their potentially dangerous backs with quality ball.

In 2013 they played a much more balanced game than in the past and it will be interesting to see whether they can do it again this year. The presence of Robert Ebersohn in the midfield will be missed, both for his fetching and for his organisation of the backline defence.

The biggest issue for me as that their second choice players are distinctly inferior to their first choice players in most positions and they will hope that they have another year of limited injuries.

Players to watch: Lood de Jager, Shaun Venter, Johan Goosen, Howard Mnisi

Predicted Positions:
SA Conference: 2
Overall: 6

Prop: Coenie Oosthuizen, Trevor Nyakane, Caylib Oosthuizen, Rossouw de Klerk
Hooker: Adriaan Strauss, Hercú Liebenberg, Ryno Barnes
Lock: Lood de Jager, Waltie Vermeulen, Ligtoring Landman, Francois Uys
Loose Forwards: Heinrich Brüssow, Lappies Labuschagné, Boom Prinsloo, Philip van der Walt, Jean Cook
Scrumhalf: Sarel Pretorius, Shaun Venter, Kevin Luiters
Flyhalf: Johan Goosen, Elgar Watts, Francois Brummer
Centre: Johann Sadie, Francois Venter, Howard Mnisi,
Wing: Raymond Ruhle, Rayno Benjamin, Rocco Jansen, Cornal Hendricks
Fullback: Willie le Roux, Hennie Daniller, Riaan Smit

Head coach: Naka Drotske


The Stormers lost a few experienced players and gained very little. With Eben Etzebeth out for most of the season they look thin at lock and will depend on their two penalty machines, Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes, to fill the gap while hoping they won’t get carded too often.

The Stormers’ forward strength is in the quality of their loose forwards.

At the back they are thin on quality scrumhalves and flyhalves, solid in the midfield while the lack of size on the wing could cost them on defence.

Unfortunately the Stormers will once again look to defend their way to the top and that’s not the way to win trophies. While Catrakilis is a quality flyhalf their biggest game breakers are out wide and unless Aplon and Kolbe get enough ball to play with they will merely be defensive liabilities.

I don’t see the Stormers having a better year than last year as overall the squad just looks unimpressive and they will probably fight it out with the Cheetahs for the #2 SA Conference spot.

Players to watch: Ruan Botha, Schalk Burger, Demetri Catrakilis, Cheslin Kolbe

Predicted Positions:
SA Conference: 3
Overall: 8

Prop: Pat Cilliers, Brok Harris, Oli Kebble, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Alistair Vermaak.
Hooker: Tiaan Liebenberg, Scarra Ntubeni
Hooker/flank: Deon Fourie
Lock: Ruan Botha, Manuel Carizza, Tazz Fuzani, Jean Kleyn, De Kock Steenkamp
Lock/flank: Rynhardt Elstadt, Michael Rhodes
Loose forward: Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Siya Kolisi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Duane Vermeulen
Scrumhalf: Nic Groom, Godlen Masimla, Louis Schreuder
Flyhalf: Demetri Catrakilis, Kurt Coleman, Ryno Eksteen, Gary van Aswegen
Centre: Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh, Michael van der Spuy, Kobus van Wyk
Centre/Wing: Damian de Allende, Pat Howard
Fullback/Wing: Gio Aplon, Scott van Breda, Cheslin Kolbe
Fullback/Centre: Jaco Taute

Head coach: Allister Coetzee


Having lost a number of experienced players during 2013 the Bulls are a bit thin on experience and it’s only in the front row that they can field a set of experienced players, albeit mainly journeymen. Every other postion will feature rookies or near rookies and while their rookies were quality juniors they will have to make the step up to Super Rugby.

The biggest problem area for the Bulls is at flyhalf where they have no real quality with Louis Fouchè and Handrè Pollard as their first choice flyhalves and Tony Jantjies as a back up. The Bulls has some talented youngsters in the midfield and out wide but it remains to be seen whether their flyhalves can create enough opportunities for these players.

The Bulls have a tough year ahead of them and they will be hard-pressed not to finish bottom of the SA Conference. However, one can expect some of their youngsters to make the step up and this might just save them the embarrassment of finishing below the Lions.

Players to watch: Paul Willemse, Jacques du Plessis, Jan Serfontein, Clayton Blommetjies

Predicted Positions:
SA Conference: 4
Overall: 10

Props: Mornè Mellett, Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten, Werner Kruger, Marcel van der Merwe
Hookers: Callie Visagie, Bandise Maku, Bongi Mbonambi
Locks: Flip van der Merwe, Paul Willemse, Grant Hattingh, David Bulbring
Loose Forwards: Deon Stegman, Wiaan Liebenberg, Arno Botha, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jacques du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Jono Ross
Scrumhalves: Francois Hougaard, Piet van Zyl, Rudy Paige
Flyhalves: Louis Fouchè, Handrè Pollard
Midfield: Jan Serfontein, Waylon Murray, JJ Engelbrecht, William Small-Smith
Outside backs: Bjorn Basson, Akona Ndungane, Sampie Mastriet, Travis Ismaiel, Jurgen Visser, Jesse Kriel, Clayton Blommetjies
Utility Backs: Ryan Nell, Ulrich Beyers

Head coach: Frans Ludeke


Coming out of the rugby wilderness of 2013 with only 12 players having played more than 10 Super Rugby games the Lions are in for a tough campaign, a campaign where their rookies and near-rookies have to step up and they will hope that injuries don’t derail them again as it did in 2012.

The Lions play an exciting brand of rugby but it is a brand where they tend to leak tries at crucial times and a lot will depend on whether they can limit the damage and pull off the wins when they get the opportunity rather than close losses.

The Lions will be in a battle with the Bulls for the bottom SA Conference spot and it will depend on which team’s rookies step up the best. Overall the Bulls rookies have a better pedigree and I expect the Bulls the pip the Lions to the post.

Players to watch: Ruan Dreyer, Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel, Stokkies Hanekom

Predicted Positions:
SA Conference: 5
Overall: 12

Prop: Ruan Dreyer, Julian Redelinghuys, Bees Roux, Schalk van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen
Hooker: Willie Wepener, Robbie Coetzee, Francois van Wyk, Malcolm Marx
Lock: Franco van der Merwe, Franco Mostert, Chris van Zyl, Hugo Kloppers, Ruan Venter, Martin Muller
Loose Forwards: Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Willie Britz, Warren Whiteley, Warwick Tecklenburg, Lambert Groenewald
Scrumhalf: Michael Bondesio, Ross Cronje, Guy Cronje, Faf de Klerk
Flyhalf: Elton Jantjies, Marnitz Boshoff, Willie du Plessis
Centre: Alwyn Hollenbach, Stokkies Hanekom, Dylan Des Fountain, Robert de Bruyn, Lionel Mapoe
Wing: Anthony Volmink, Deon Helberg, Deon van Rensburg, Chrysander Botha,
Fullback: Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrink

Head coach: Johan Ackermann

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Weekend Rugby Impressions – Currie Cup Final

October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Currie Cup has been won and with it South Africa’s domestic rugby season is something of the past until next year. Apart from the few players taking part in the Springbok EOYT the rest will take a well deserved break until Super Rugby pre-season training starts in mid November.

At the other end of the Currie Cup the Pumas pummeled Griquas to qualify for the Premier Division next year while Griquas are hoping for a boardroom decision to save them.

Western Province vs Sharks: Newlands, Cape Town

Well done to the Sharks, venerunt, viderunt, vicerunt while WP players, coaches and supporters will go looking for veritas in vino.

A key moment that set the tone for the match and WP’s loss was Charl McLeod’s interception when none of the WP speedsters van Heerden, Aplon or Kolbe even attempted to run him in a la Volmink, leaving it all to the slowest guy in the backline, de Allende.

One got the feeling that WP was just going through the motions, perhaps believe the pre-match press that they only needed to turn up to win, while the Sharks showed motivation and intent and outplayed their opponents in virtually every facet of the game.

A well deserved win for the Sharks.

A few standouts:

Pieter Steph du Toit: Deserved man of the match a young monster is maturing and a Bok combination of PSDT and Ysterbed in the not too distant future is something to look forward to.

Cheslin Kolbe: As elusive as a Cape Town pick pocket he can run circle around defenders. The problem is that he eventually runs into traffic and get caught. All flash and little substance he achieved very little on the day. He needs to mature before higher rewards can be considered.

Demitri Catrakilis: A tough day at the office where he primarily got poor ball from his forwards and poor service from his scrumhalf and were under pressure all the time. At least he slotted his kicks.

Pat Lambie: Looks like the Sharks’ blue eyed boy has returned to his pre-Heyneke Meyer game – a good flyhalf whose goal kicking is average to poor. Good for him.


Thank you to everyone who played in my Superbru and Fantasy League pools. With only the EOYT Superbru left it’s good bye to many of you until Super Rugby next year.

Congratulations to the winners and tough luck to Alasdair Fraser who came close in both the Superbru and Fantasy League

Superbru final top 10:

1: Maverick – 43.50
2: Witblitz – 41.00
3: Kitchener – 40.25
4: bighit – 39.92
5: O’Shauns 15 – 39.83
6: Pieta – 39.08
7: Smiley101 – 39.08
8: ALFraser – 38.75
9: Ratte – 37.25
10: Theok – 37.00

Fantasy League final top 10:

1: Gershwin Koen aka Cheating Cheetahs – Global: 33 – Sploggers: 2885
2: Marlon Dauphin aka Angostura – Global: 135 – Sploggers: 2808
3: Alasdair Fraser aka Sweet XV – Global: 203 – Sploggers: 2777
4: Carel Lotz aka Red Muse – Global: 277 – Sploggers: 2756
5: Marius Greyling aka Mnr Muis – Global: 295 – Sploggers: 2751
6: Wayne Amsterdam aka Greatness Inc. – Global: 424 – Sploggers: 2725
7: Radyn van Dewenter aka TEAM RVD – Global: 459 – Sploggers: 2719
8: Kallie Nel aka The Cutting Edge – Global: 539 – Sploggers: 2705
9: Riaan Aspeling aka a1s4s – Global: 1020 – Sploggers: 2641
9: willem le roux aka willem le roux – Global: 1020 – Sploggers: 2641

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A bad day at the office for the Golden Lions

September 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Golden Lions senior side must have felt it’s déjà vu all over again as they conceded a number of soft tries while their dominant scrum got penalised more than that of their retreating opponents’ and they eventually found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard when the hooter went.

A team just cannot afford to give away points at the start of the game or soft tries like those of SP Marais and Cobus Reinach and expect to win the game. Not at Currie Cup level and definitely not at Super Rugby level.

Read more …

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2013 Currie Cup Preview – Round 1

August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Super Rugby is over and the Currie Cup Premier Division kicks off this weekend with the various teams looking at the Currie Cup to achieve different objectives. The Sharks have a good mix of experience and youth while the Blue Bulls and WP are looking to develop more of their youngsters, the Blue Bulls especially considering their investment in recent years in build a base with wome of the most ta;ented youngsters from around the country. The Golden Lions will look to build their squad for 2014 and the Cheetahs will want to consolidate on their successful Super Rugby campaign with the Griquas the odd one out, they want to beat the better teams and be in contension for the cup.

Fri, 09 August: Sharks v Griquas – SAST: 19h10

The Sharks will be missing a number of key players from their Super Rugby team when they take on Griquas in Durban but they will still be able to push a good side on the field. Griquas have some of their Super Rugby players back from the Cheetahs and their tight five looks solid but it’s at the back where they don’t offer too much to scare the Sharks.

The Sharks will miss their Bok front row and will have a new lock combination with Marco Wentzel joining them but their loosies are tried and trusted so too their scrumhalves but it’s at the back where there is a new and exciting look with Louis Ludik having shown he’s a good #13 in the making and Tim Whitehead back and the big issue will be whether they can get their new backline going.

Sharks by 9

The Sharks: 15. Odwa Ndungane, 14. Sizo Maseko, 13. Louis Ludik, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Butch James, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (Captain) , 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Edwin Hewitt, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Peet Marais, 19. Tera Mtembu, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. Jaco van Tonder

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 JP Nel, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 PJ Vermeulen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 Jaco Nepgen, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Ligtoring Landman, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts
Replacements: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Nick Schonert, 18 Jonathan Adendorf, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Du Randt Gerber, 22 Rocco Jansen

Sat, 10 August: Golden Lions v FS Cheetahs – SAST: 15h00

With their Super Rugby status back in the bag the Golden Lions face their first hurdle in their effort to rebuild a team for next year when they face the Cheetahs at home. The Cheetahs may be without their Boks and without the Griquas Super Rugby players but they still have enough experienced players to make it very tough for the Lions.

The Lions will be without a number of players who played the Kings the last two weeks and especially the forwards have been affected. JC Janse van Rensburg (France), Hendrik Roodt (France), Franco van der Merwe (Boks, Warren Whiteley (finger), Robbie Coetzee (ribs), Julian Redelinghuys (thumb), Ross Cronje (hamstring) and Deon van Rensburg (leg) are all missing from their last game and they are down to their #4 scrumhalf, the converted flyhalf Guy Cronje, and short on props while the bulk of the Cheetahs starting 15 are coming from a successful Super Rugby campaign and they should not stumble against a depleted Lions team.

Cheetahs by 10
(Went for the Lions by 5 on Superbru but that was an illconsidered mistake)

Golden Lions: 15.Chrysander Botha, 14.Deon Helberg, 13.Stokkies Hanekom, 12.Dylan des Fountain, 11.Anthony Volmink, 10.Marnitz Boshoff, 9.Guy Cronje, 8.Willie Britz, 7.Warwick Tecklenburg, 6.Derick Minnie (c), 5.Hugo Kloppers, 4.Stephan Greeff, 3.Ruan Dreyer, 2.Martin Bezuidenhout, 1.Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16.Francois du Toit, 17.CJ van der Linde, 18.Lambert Groenewald, 19.Jaco Kriel, 20.Tian Meyer, 21.Elton Jantjies, 22.Lionel Cronje/Robert de Bruyn

Free State Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo (c), 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Joubert Engelbrecht, 22 Piet Lindeque.

Sat, 10 August: Western Province v Blue Bulls – SAST: 17h05

Giving only Eben Etzebeth to the Boks in the forwards the WP forward pack should be close to their Super Rugby pack but their backline outside Gary van Aswegen, as well as on the bench, will be new and it will be interesting to see how Bok u/20 and Blitsbok Cheslin Kolbe steps up to real senior rugby.

The Blue Bulls have problems. They lost a number of players to the Boks as well as to foreign shores and their forwards have been below par during Super Rugby. WP may not have the strongest pack but they have all played together for a while now and I do not think the Blue Bulls will have enough up front to bother them while at the back the battle between two rookie lineups may be up for grabs and the WP halfback pair’s superior experience should take the game away from the Bulls.

WP by 6

WP: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Pat Howard, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 9. Louis Schreuder (vice-captain), 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Gerbrandt Grobler, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Alistair Vermaak, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Ruan Kitshoff, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Berton Klaasen

Blue Bulls: 15. Jürgen Visser , 14. Sampie Mastriet , 13. Ulrich Beyers , 12. Francois Venter , 11. Travis Ismaiel, 10. Tony Jantjies, 9. Rudy Paige , 8. Jono Ross(c), 7. Jacques du Plessis, 6. Wiaan Liebenberg, 5. Grant Hattingh, 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Frik Kirsten , 2. Willie Wepener, 1. Morné Mellet
Replacements: 16. Callie Visagie , 17. Marcell van der Merwe , 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Jean Cook , 20. Ruan Snyman , 21. Waylon Murray , 22. Clayton Blommetjies.

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Golden Lions vs The Sharks

June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Golden Lions will look to maintain their unbeaten run against the Sharks at Ellis Park when they play a stronger than expected Sharks team in their practice match. Unlike the mediocre team WP sent last week the Sharks decided to make use of the opportunity to give some of their players who lacked game time due to form or injury a run. They also included a number of  youngsters who will probably be part of their Currie Cup squad later this year.

The Lions last lost to the Sharks at Ellis Park in any competition in April 2010 and while this match is a practice match and, as such, the result is unimportant they will want to maintain their record against the Sharks while giving their players a good run both on attack and defence.

The Sharks put together a decent squad that includes a number of Springboks and experienced Super Rugby players but in the end it will be too much to ask a mix-and-match team to gel sufficiently on this outing to beat a settled Lions team.

The Golden Lions team sees a few changes from what can be regarded as their first choice team with Warren Whiteley and Jaco Kriel out with injuries and Ross Cronje getting a start but it is still a settled team. The Lions will look to improve on their defence, too often they have given away valuable territory when on defence due to ineffective first time tackles, and they need to ensure they stop the opposition behind the advantage line. On attack they will face a better defence from the Sharks than they have so far in previous matches and they need to play a more structured game to break it down.

The Sharks team is very much an experimental side and it will be interesting to see how Louis Ludik shapes at outside centre. We all know him as an exciting attacking fullback but can he bring that to the game playing in the midfield? They will also be testing their new Griquas lock, Edwin Hewitt.

Curtain raiser: A Lions B side will play the Griffons in a curtain raiser.

Golden Lions by 15


Golden Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Gavin Annandale, 19 Lambert Groenewald, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Dylan des Fountain, 22 Deon van Rensburg.

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Sean Robinson, 10 Andrew James, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Brynard Stander, 19 Khaya Majola, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Tyler Fisher.

Date: Friday, 21 June
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.00 SAST (TV SS1)

Curtain raiser vs Griffons

Kicks off: 14:00

Lions B:
15 Kobus De Kock, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Deon Helberg, 12 Ruhan Nel, 11 Grant Janke, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Guy Cronje, 8 JJ Breet, 7 Claude Tsibidi, 6 De Wet Meyer, 5 Stephan Greeff, 4 Chris Van Zyl, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Malcom Marx, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
16 Brett Sharmann, 17 Hannes Ludick, 18 Tiaan Benade, 19 DJ Oosthuizen, 20 Matt Torence, 21 Ashlyn Davis, 22 Jarred Meyer, 23 Chad De Klerk


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Vodacom Cup QF: Sharks XV vs Golden Lions

May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Opinions are divided over whether the Golden Lions needed to better the 124 points difference to oust the Leopards or whether a simple 4-try bonus point would have been enough but, be it as it may, the Lions scraped into the Vodacom Cup quarter finals after playing a young team in the early part of the competition while the senior players focused on a fast disintegrating Lions Challenge.

With the matches against French clubs Agen and Montpellier as well as the match against the French Barbarians cancelled the Golden Lions senior players are now available for the remaining Vodacom Cup matches and the Lions will hope to progress past Friday’s quarter final match.

The Golden Lions travel to Durban to take on a strong Sharks XV side that has lost only one of their league matches, against the EP Kings two weeks ago.

The Lions match squad has an unfamiliar look to it due to the players lent to the Sharks recently and the injury to Franco Mostert in a car accident over the weekend. At fullback Chryzander Botha is the third fullback in as many weeks as coach Johann Ackerman looks for a replacement for the injured Andries Coetzee while Hugo Kloppers slots into Mostert’s place at lock with JJ Breet as cover on the bench. For the rest the Lions are fielding all the familiar faces with Warren Whiteley taking over the captaincy from JC Janse van Rensburg, who joined the Sharks down under.

The Sharks also have their problems, especially due to injuries in their Super Rugby squad, and they will have to do without props Danie Mienie and Allan Dell, loosie Lubabalo Mtembu, scrumhalf Tian Meyer as well as wingers Sibusiso Sithole and Sean Robinson.

However, the Sharks still have enough talent in the squad to be dangerous with Springbok Willem Alberts getting back to match fitness after his injury, Ryan Kankowski joining the team and youngsters like Hanco Venter, Tyler Fisher, Fred Zeilinga and Gouws Prinsloo playing under the captaincy of Marius Joubert.

To be honest, it is very difficult to really compare the sides as they played in different sections during the league phases and have faced neither each other nor the same opponents. The only way to compare is to look at the experience in both teams.

Senior caps:
Sharks: 795 (495 between Willem Alberts, Ryan Kankowski and Marius Jonker)
Lions: 869

Super Rugby caps:
Sharks: 224 (4 players)
Lions: 143 (12 players)

Springbok caps:
Sharks: 70 (3 players)
Lions: 0

Past SA u/20 players:
Sharks: 6
Lions: 6

Ave age:
Sharks: 22.64
Lions: 24.27

Players over 23:
Sharks: 4
Lions: 11

Players under 21:
Sharks: 7
Lions: 0

Looking at these figures the Lions obviously have the more experienced side, both in term of age as well as in terms of number of players with first class experience, but whether that will translate into victory remains to be seen, considering the match is played in Durban, and Durbs has not been a happy hunting ground for Lions teams in the past.

In recent weeks the Sharks XV lost to the EP Kings, were played close by the SWD Eagles, the Free State XV and WP while the Golden Lions, since involving their senior players, have beaten both Griquas and the Pumas comfortably, which also may indicate that the Golden Lions is the stronger side, considering the opposition played. However, since these losses Alberts and Kanko joined the Sharks XV, strengthening the side considerably.

It is important, however, for the Lions to come away with a victory, not only to show that their preparation for the Super Rugby play-offs is on track but also to stay in the Vodacom Cup to get more game time before the play-offs. The lack of quality opposition during the run in to the play-offs, especially if the remaining French matches that were scheduled for July are cancelled as rumoured, means that the final stages of the Vodacom Cup have taken on a greater importance.

Given the relative inexperience of most of the Sharks team and the fact that they have had close battles with traditionally weaker sides I think the Lions have the advantage going into the match and should come away with a win.

Lions by 9.

The Sharks XV: 15. Jaco van Tonder, 14. Kotaro Matsushima, 13. Marius Joubert (Capt), 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Sizo Maseko, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Hanco Venter, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Peet Marais, 4. Jandre Marais, 3. Nicolaas van Dyk, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Robbie Harris

Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Simon Kerrod, 18. Francois Kleinhans, 19. Khaya Majola, 20. Stefan Ungerer, 21. Tyler Fisher, 22. Gouws Prinsloo

Golden Lions: 15 Chryzander Botha, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Reserwes: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 JJ Breet, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Ross Cronjé, 21 Dylan des Fountain, 22 Lionel Cronjé.

Other matches:

Friday, May 03 2013
19:10 – Pumas vs Pampas: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

The Pumas have a strong squad of journeymen combined with youngsters that couldn’t quite make their provincial squads in the past, players like Rosko Specman, Renaldo Bothma and Jerome Pretorius, while the Pampas aren’t quite at the same standard of a few years ago when they won the Vodacom Cup.

PUMAS to beat Pampas XV by 15

Saturday, May 04 2013
15:30 – WP vs Griquas: DHL Newlands, Cape Town

The Griquas with a squad of journeymen probably have the better known players but the WP youngsters have done well so far.

WESTERN PROVINCE to beat Griquas by 8

16:30 – Blue Bulls vs EP Kings: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

With all their Tuks players and Baby Boks and other youngsters who are set to replace the senior players the Bulls are trying to put to pasture the Blue Bulls have a very strong side, too strong for an EP Kings side that has done well to reach the quarters.

BLUE BULLS to beat Eastern Province Kings by 25

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by Baylion

Sharks touring squad includes 3 Lions

April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Sharks have named their touring squad with the surprise inclusion of Derick Minnie. Jaco Kriel was originally earmarked to tour with the Sharks but this, for some reason, has not come off. The other Lions in the squad is Andries Coetzee, who is also included in the Sharks match 22 for the game against the Cheetahs on Saturday, and regular loan player, Franco van der Merwe.

Another surprise is the inclusion of Tukkies and Blue Bulls centre and former Sharkie, Piet Lindeque. Lindeque moved to the Blue Bulls only a few months ago after not getting a contract with the Sharks.

And Kanko’s lack of form, according to coach Plumtree, sees him miss out on tour although the other player glaringly out of form, Frans Steyn, made it  and will probably be played at centre with Andries Coetzee covering fullback.

Minnie’s inclusion is the real surprise though because his name was never even mentioned as a possibility and, good player as he is, he is a penalty liability but Plumtree probably felt they need a specialist fetcher to take on the teams down under.

1. Anton Bresler
2. Craig Burden
3. Marcell Coetzee
4. Kyle Cooper
5. Keegan Daniel
6. Allan Dell
7. Jean Deysel
8. Jannie du Plessis
9. Pieter-Steph du Toit
10. Derick Minnie
11. Wiehahn Herbst
12. Tendai Mtawarira
13. Lubabalo Mtembu
14. Franco van der Merwe

1. Meyer Bosman
2. Andries Coetzee
3. Paul Jordaan
4. Patrick Lambie
5. Piet Lindeque
6. Charl McLeod
7. Odwa Ndungane
8. JP Pietersen
9. Cobus Reinach
10. Sean Robinson
11. Francois Steyn
12. Riaan Viljoen

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Two more Lions out on loan

April 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Two Lions players, fullback Andries Coetzee and flank Jaco Kriel, have joined the Sharks squad in Durban and will be undergoing tests this week with the view of being signed on loan agreements.

With Louis Ludick and Jacques Botes amongst the Sharks latest casualties they are running low on Super Rugby experienced backup and the two Lions players can be seen as “custom fits” for those positions.

Andries Coetzee made an exciting start to Super Rugby when he had to fill in on flyhalf against the Sharks when Elton Jantjies got injured and he subsequently cemented himself into the fullback spot, so much so that Jaco Taute was moved to centre when he returned from injury. He is an attacking fullback and should be a good replacement for Louis Ludick.

Jaco Kriel could provide the Sharks with the specialist open side flank they need although he is equally comfortable on the blind side. Injuries have depleted the Sharks experienced loose forward stocks to the point that they only have Keegan Daniel, Marcell Coetzee and Ryan Kankowski available.

Both players will be undergoing “trials” this week before a final decision is made and they will have to earn their spots but initially they will be with the Sharks to provide backup.

With the Lions tour to the USA cancelled and the serious leg of the Preparation Programme only starting in June we may see more Lions players being made available on loan to franchises that need backups.

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State of the Nation’s Rugby

March 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

It is disturbing that only two of the South African franchises have improved in their performance over the last four weeks and that the two franchises that are the main repositories of Springbok rugby have regressed dramatically.

After last week’s euphoria because of the three nil drubbing of Kiwi sides by Saffer sides we were quickly brought back to earth this week when the Bulls and the Sharks were totally outplayed by their opposition. What is even more disturbing is that it was so easy to see it coming.

Both the Bulls and the Sharks were still unbeaten before the weekend but the signs of a fall were there for all to see. And even more disturbing was the ease with which the Chiefs, Crusaders and the Brumbies scored their tries once they were on attack, even against the Stormers the previous week.

So far only the Cheetahs and the Stormers have improved from week one.

Waratahs vs Cheetahs:

After a poor start against the Sharks and a worse start to their tour down under the Cheetahs upped their defence against the Highlanders and played a more balanced game against the Waratahs to win two in row on tour.

Where the Cheetahs forwards were the main force in their victory over the Clan with the backs merely playing a defensive role, against the Waratahs they brought in their backs a lot more on attack while maintaining their defence.

If the Cheetahs can maintain their new-found defence through the season they have a good chance of improving on their best results of the past.

Kings vs Chiefs:

They defend with heart but the Kings have one objective and that, notwithstanding a fortuitous win over a pathetic Force side, is to lose respectably and they’ve been helped in this by a dire Sharks performance and a Chiefs side that took a break after they had scored their bonus point try.

Unlike against the Cheetahs where the Chiefs knew that the Cheetahs can come back and punish them if they slack off, they knew the Kings are of no consequence and they could rest their players for the last 30 minutes.

No matter how popular it is in the media to write up the Kings “brave” performances all the Kings real hope for is not to lose too badly.

Crusaders vs Bulls:

The Bulls manage to scrape home wins against a stuttering Stormers side, a poor Force team and then away against an inexperienced Blues selection. The only real positive for the Bulls is that Morne Steyn has found his kicking boots again but even that couldn’t save the Bulls from a six tries to nil blitz by a rampant Crusaders, a Crusaders side that struggled to keep the ball in hand in the first half and that left a number of tries unscored.

With Dan Carter having one of his better performance in recent times the Crusaders exposed the soft under belly of the Bulls and the Bulls were fortunate that this game didn’t turn into a real rout.

But the game had its moment of comedy when Deon Stegmann had to be lead across the tryline by Chiliboy because he didn’t notice the gap as wide as a barn door that had opened up before him.

Sharks vs Brumbies:

After beating the Cheetahs and scraping wins against the Stormers and the Kings the Sharks’ dependence on their big ball carriers were exposed by a polished Brumbies side. Without the likes of Willem Alberts to carry the ball across the advantage line the Sharks struggle without front foot ball and the deficiencies of their 9-10-12 combination was there far all to see.

But the worst was to see their lethargic and almost disinterested display on defence and the ease with which the Brumbies broke their line to score their tries. In the move to score their third try the Brumbies #13 struggled to get the ball under control while Burden and Jordaan patiently waited before trying to tackle him. And what’s with the little kick pass by Jordaan to Kanko?

The Sharks have now managed to score three tries in four games (one in their last three) and look more and more like a toothless old dog.


Meanwhile SARU’s monkeys in charge are maintaining their attitude of “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.

Last week the media spin doctors explained to us that a non-South African African player isn’t really a foreign player when the Kings fielded Daniel Adongo, Nicolas Vergallo and Hadleigh Parkes while SARU looked on in silence.

This week the Kings went a step further and played Tomàs Leonardi, Daniel Adongo, Nicolas Vergallo and Hadleigh Parkes. I won’t be surprised if SARU continue to allow the Kings to flout the rules with impunity.

Note: According to Rugby 365:

SARU confirmed on Sunday that they have asked for an “explanation” as to why the Kings fielded an additional foreign player from outside the African continent.

“Media are advised that the selection of three overseas players by the Southern Kings in their match 22 against the Chiefs in Port Elizabeth on Friday [March 15] has been noted by SARU,” a brief statement said.

“SARU will be contacting the Kings for a report on the situation.”

Update: The Kings continue to ignore the two foreign player rule by including all four their non-African foreigners in their touring squad:

Andries Strauss, Bandise Maku, Cornell du Preez, Daniel Adongo, David Bulbring, Demetri Catrakilis, Elric van Vuuren, George Whitehead, Grant Kemp, Hadleigh Parkes, Jaco Engels, Jacques Engelbrecht, Johannes Franklin, Kevin Buys, Marcello Sampson, Nicolas Vergallo, Ronnie Cooke, Rynier Bernardo, Schalk Ferreira, Sergeal Petersen, Shaun Venter, Steven Sykes, Tomas Leonardi, Virgile Lacombe, Waylon Murray, Wimpie van there Walt.

Will the softcocks at SARU do something more than wring their hands?

Varsity Cup Shenanigans:

According to media reports Tuks have been rake over the coals for the second year running because they didn’t have enough bona fide students in their team and for the second year running they have come away with only a warning.